See The Origin Of The Yoruba Tribe In Nigeria

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Yoruba mythology states that, in the beginning, the universe was made up of only two elements: the sky above and a watery chaos below. Oduduwa (a servant of the Supreme Being, Olodumare) was tasked with creating the Earth.

The belief is that he ventured down from heaven with a long chain, carrying a calabash filled with sand, along with a five-toed fowl. Not a single patch of dry land could be found as the whole Earth was covered in water, and so Oduduwa poured the sand on the water and the fowl on top of it.

Every one of the fowl’s steps would produce new solid ground, and a chameleon, sent down to check up on this process, would determine if the land was dry enough and solid enough. What remains as water today are all the places not touched by the sand. And today, it is said that some of the objects Oduduwa brought from heaven are still in Ile-Ife, including the chain he used to climb down to earth.

A similar school of thought believes that Oduduwa was a mortal who had supernatural powers. He fathered sixteen children, making them all kings in other territories. The eldest of his children was named the Orangun of Ila, and the Egba people of Abeokuta, Nigeria are said to be descendants of Oduduwa’s daughter named Alaketu. Oranyan was the last of his children, who ruled over the Benin Kingdom. This explains the striking similarity in language, food, culture and dress between the Yoruba and the people of Benin.

There are reports that civilization already existed in Ile-Ife (the citadel of Yoruba civilization), Nigeria by the 8th century, centuries before the arrival of the British colonial administration. Archaeological findings in Ile-Ife prove to feature a high level of artistic skills in the 12th–14th century era. Artists sculpted traditional and cultural significance out of terracotta, stone, ivory, brass, bronze and copper as far back as 1300 CE. As of today, after numerous political divisions and influences, the Yoruba are the main ethnic group in Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, and Oyo State, and they also make up a sizable proportion of Kwara, Kogi and Edo State in Nigeria. They spread to other African countries such as Egypt, Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Liberia.

A people of rich soil and full of mystery, the Yoruba people of Nigeria dance to the beats of the Batá drum under the moonlight, chanting away to the Mother goddess, “Iba’se Yemoja, Olugbe-rere” (I give praise to you Yemoja, the one who brings goodness), offering their gratitude to Oduduwa, the godfather of the land – this is a tribe with a story……See More

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